Flooding and rain means more mosquitoes likely - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flooding and rain means more mosquitoes likely

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Eastern Iowa communities like Iowa City are bracing for rain and flooding. But with the flood water comes another pest -- those itchy mosquitoes. Eastern Iowa communities like Iowa City are bracing for rain and flooding. But with the flood water comes another pest -- those itchy mosquitoes.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Eastern Iowa communities like Iowa City are bracing for rain and flooding.

But with the flood water comes another pest -- those itchy mosquitoes.

"With the additional moisture and hot temperatures, we're going to see more mosquitoes," said Doug Beardsley, Johnson County Public Health Department.

There is some good news: The mosquitoes near flooding are aptly called "floodwater mosquitoes" and are not the ones carrying the West Nile virus or other diseases.

"We're seeing floodwater mosquitoes, which are a nuisance," said Beardsley. "They bite. But the risk of disease transmission is much, much lower."

The prime season for the bugs that do carry disease isn't until late summer.

The Iowa Department of Public Health will start catching mosquitoes and testing them in a couple weeks. They'll also check chicken flocks across the state to see if the animals have contracted the disease.

"As we move into the summer months, if there are a lot of dry, stagnant pools, potentially we might see more of the culex mosquitoes or the mosquitoes that do carry West Nile," said Ann Garvey, Iowa Department of Public Health.

It's too early to know if we'll be seeing more of the disease-carrying bugs.

"We have a lot of moisture now, but (if) it's dry the rest of the year you'll see those numbers dropping off," said Beardsley. "But if we keep having rain events, et cetera, you're going to have an increase in mosquito activity."

Before that time comes, health officials recommend mosquito-proofing your home by making sure window and door screens are in place.

Empty water from flower pots, bird baths and gutters once or twice a week.

Even though the bugs out now likely don't carry diseases, officials urge you to take precautionary measures if you're going to be outside. Wear long sleeves and pants when possible and use a repellant -- a spray with DEET -- to help prevent bites.

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